Swellness Blog


15 Ways to Connect With Nature This Summer

lifestyle wellness yoga May 13, 2024
15 Ways to Connect With Nature This Summer

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

As summer approaches, you may yearn to escape your daily routine and reconnect with outside life. Whether you live in a bustling city or amidst the peaceful countryside, there are countless ways to immerse yourself in the great outdoors and reap its benefits. Here’s a guide to help you get more in touch with nature this summer. 

Why Should You Connect With Nature?

It’s easy to take the outside for granted when it’s always there. However, it’s a vital source of rejuvenation, inspiration and well-being. Spending time in natural environments has many benefits for your physical and mental health. Here’s why prioritizing your connection with the Earth is so important.

It’s a Fantastic Stress Reliever

Nature has the remarkable ability to calm the mind and reduce stress levels. Immersing yourself in a forest, beach, park, or canyon can lower cortisol levels and promote relaxation, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression. Setting aside just two hours to spend outdoors each week can profoundly impact your wellness.

It Does Wonders for Your Mental Health

Regular exposure to the outside has been linked to improved mental health outcomes, including a reduced risk of mood disorders, and increased happiness and well-being. Nature is an escape from the pressures of everyday life, allowing you to recharge and relax your mind.

It Benefits Your Physical Health

Spending time outdoors encourages exercise, promoting a healthier lifestyle. Whether you’re hiking, cycling, swimming or walking, being active can improve heart health, boost your immune system, and lower the risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

It Enhances Your Creativity

Nature has long been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, painters and creative thinkers. Absorbing your surroundings can stimulate creativity, spark new ideas and enhance problem-solving skills, making it an invaluable resource for innovation and imagination.

It Deepens Your Connection to the Earth

In an increasingly urbanized and technology-driven world, it’s easy to feel disconnected from nature. Spending time outside allows you to reconnect with the Earth and feel grateful for the beauty of life. This connection can foster a greater passion for environmental awareness and eco-consciousness, inspiring you to preserve the planet for future generations.

It Cultivates Mindfulness

The outdoors is the ideal environment for practicing mindfulness. By tuning into the world's sights, smells, sounds and sensations, you become more grounded in the present moment, reducing overthinking and promoting inner peace.

It Creates a Sense of Wonder

Nature has a way of evoking a sense of awe. Whether witnessing a spectacular sunset, admiring colorful flowers or gazing up at the sky, it can remind you of the beauty of the universe, instilling an admiration for life.

15 Ways to Connect With Nature 

There are plenty of ways to connect with nature and take advantage of its numerous benefits. Here are 15 ways to start.

1. Bring Greenery Indoors

Add some vibrant houseplants to your living space for a touch of natural beauty, and to improve the air quality and reduce stress. Choose various plants — from leafy greens to flowering succulents — and plant them strategically around your home to create a soothing environment. 

2. Go for a Run Without Headphones

Ditching the headphones during your run or walk allows you to embrace the sounds and sights of nature. Listen to the rhythm of your footsteps, the chirping of the birds, and the rustling of the leaves as you breathe in the fresh air and feel the sun on your skin. Running unplugged can be a meditative experience that helps you connect more deeply with your surroundings and body.

3. Do Yoga Outside

Take your yoga outdoors, letting your garden or a nearby park be your studio. Find a peaceful spot, roll out your mat and flow through your poses surrounded by plants. Spending time outdoors can boost your happiness and create a connection with the Earth. 

4. Take Off Your Socks and Shoes

Kick off your shoes and feel the ground beneath your feet. Walking barefoot — whether on grass, sand, soil or stones — can help you center yourself and reconnect with the Earth’s energy. Allow yourself to experience the textures and sensations under your feet as you take a leisurely stroll or pause to take in the moment.

5. Go Camping

There’s nothing like spending a night under the stars reconnecting with the natural world. Whether you prefer car camping at established campgrounds or backpacking deep into the wilderness, it’s the perfect chance to unplug from the distractions of modern life and fully embrace nature. Gather around a crackling campfire and fall asleep to the sounds of the night.

6. Volunteer for Conservation Projects

Volunteering provides a hands-on way to give back to the natural world while developing deeper connections with like-minded individuals. Here are some ideas:

  • Planting trees
  • Volunteering at animal shelters or a national park
  • Joining or hosting a park or beach cleanup
  • Helping out at a community garden
  • Caring for injured wildlife

7. Go for a Surf

Surfing is an exhilarating opportunity to connect with nature on multiple levels. As you paddle out into the ocean, you become part of a dynamic ecosystem, surrounded by the waves' pulse and the sea's endlessness.

You must be able to notice the subtle shifts in the water to surf with ease. The sport also engages your entire body — from paddling out to catching waves and balancing on the board — providing a full sensory experience that connects you with the elements.

8. Visit a Farm  

Do you really know where your food comes from? Shopping at the grocery store is the most accessible way to get food, but it disconnects us from the source. Take a trip to a local farm to feel more connected to the natural process that creates the food you eat. While you’re there, pick up some fresh produce from the farmer’s market. 

For some added fun, you can also take a trip to a vineyard. Enjoying a glass of wine on the farmland where the fruit is grown can give you a greater appreciation for the flavors. 

9. Don’t Rush it

Slow down and savor the moments you spend in nature. Instead of rushing from one activity to the next, take the time to pause, breathe and absorb your surroundings. Whether hiking along a trail or lounging in a hammock, allow yourself to be present and soak in the beauty.

10. Look Down

Take a moment to look down and appreciate the intricate details of the world beneath your feet. Notice the delicate patterns of leaves, the tiny insects bustling about and the bright colors of wildflowers. You'll discover even more beauty and wonder by shifting your perspective and paying attention to the often-overlooked world below you.

11. Learn About Plants

Deepen your connection with nature by learning about the plants that surround you. Expanding your knowledge of plants can enhance your appreciation for them, whether you’re identifying wildflowers on a nature trek or researching houseplants for your home.

12. Adopt Eco-Friendly Habits

There’s no better way to connect with nature than looking after it. Reduce your environmental footprint by aligning your actions with what’s best for the Earth. You can do this by adopting sustainable habits and being more mindful of your consumption.

Try implementing these sustainable habits:

  • Composting kitchen scraps.
  • Switching from single-use plastics to reusable alternatives.
  • Supporting local farmers and artisans.
  • Turning off lights when leaving a room.
  • Showering instead of bathing.
  • Recycling.
  • Unplugging electronics when you’re not using them.
  • Carpooling, biking or walking.

13. Enjoy the Rain Without an Umbrella

If you live in an area with a rainy summer climate, take full advantage of the opportunity to connect with the elements. Embrace the rain as a rejuvenating force of nature rather than an inconvenience. Let the raindrops fall onto your skin and breathe in the earthy scent of wet leaves.

14. Plant a Garden

Begin deepening your connection with the outdoors in your own backyard. Create a small garden on your balcony or even a sprawling vegetable patch in your yard. You can use your kitchen scraps to nourish the soil and save some bucks on fertilizer. Get your hands dirty, nurture your plants and watch them flourish day by day.

15. Document Your Adventures in Nature

Capture the beauty around you by documenting it through photography, journaling or sketching. Create a scrapbook or digital photo album to preserve your memories and inspire future outdoor adventures. Reflecting on your experiences deepens your appreciation for the world around you and encourages you to explore further.

Nature Has Something to Offer Everyone

This summer, make it a priority to reconnect with nature and reap the countless benefits of spending time outside. Whether you seek adventure or a renewed connection with the world around you, the great outdoors has something to offer everyone.